Birthplace: Tokyo, Japan
Race or Ethnicity: Asian
Occupation: Inventor, Engineer, Business
Executive summary: Father of the PlayStation
As a young engineer at Sony in the late 1970s, Ken Kutaragi designed a liquid-crystal-display projector — which the company declined to manufacture, until other companies' LCD devices proved popular. The project was approved as a joint venture of Sony and Nintendo in 1986, but almost scuttled after Nintendo withdrew from the agreement in 1991. In reportedly heated confrontations, Kutaragi threatened to quit unless his employer continued funding its research and development, and he was given complete control over the project.
After several years of development the PlayStation video-game console was introduced in 1994, and quickly became a very popular gaming system. With the phenomenal success of the PlayStation 2, introduced in 2000, Sony Computer Entertainment (SCEI) became Sony's most profitable business division. Kutaragi was named head of SCEI in 2003, but left in 2007 to become chief executive officer at Cellius, a rival developer of computer games.
University: BS Electrical Engineering, Denki Tsushin University (1975)
Cellius CEO (2007-)
Sony CEO, Sony Computer Entertainment (2003-07)
Sony President, Sony Computer Entertainment (2003-06)
Sony EVP & CEO American Operations, Sony Computer Entertainment (1999-2003)
Sony COO, Sony Computer Entertainment (1997-2003)
Sony EVP of R&D, Sony Computer Entertainment (1997-99)
Sony Dir. and GM of R&D, Sony Computer Entertainment (1996-97)
Sony Manager, PlayStation Project, Sony Computer Entertainment (1993-99)
Sony Manager, PlayStation Project (1991-93)
Sony Research, PlayStation Project (1986-91)
Sony Engineer (1975-89)
Member of the Board of Sony (2000-05)
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